Hillyer, Warriors defense come up big in lop-sided victory


The Warriors bounce back from disappointing playoff loss last week

LISBON, OHIO (WKBN) – Behind the play of their quarterback and their opportunistic defense, the West Branch Warriors plowed over the Beaver Local Beavers Friday night 54-19.  The win improves the Warriors to 8-1 on the season, while the Beavers drop to 6-3 on the year.

“These guys just like to have fun.  They just enjoy being out on the field.  They are a great group of guys.  We put last Saturday behind us and focused on being able to come down here (Beaver),” Warriors coach Ken Harris remarked.

Warriors quarterback Brock Hillyer would throw for 166 yards and three touchdowns on the night.  He would also rush for 67 yards and a score.  Nick Wilson would haul in 3 of those passes for 43 yards and a touchdown, while Jackson Hendershott caught 3 passes for 36 yards.

“I think I could have played better, to be honest,” Hillyer admitted.  “But I think we did good, it was a good night.   Always striving to do better.”

While Hillyer and the Warriors offense were cranking out the yards, their defense was causing numerous turnovers.  The Warriors would intercept the Beavers five times in the game, returning two of those picks into scores.  They would also recover three fumbles in the game.

Nick Wilson and Steven Marra would record the two interception scores.  Running back Alek Wilson would rush for 67 yards and a touchdown along with a 3-yard touchtone pass in the third quarter to help pace the Warriors.

Following a 1-yard run by the Beavers Dorian Jackson at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter, the Warriors exploded for 35 unanswered points in the first half.  The Warriors scored on a 1-yard run by Hillyer in the first quarter, a 2-yards run by Alek Wilson, 4-yard pass to Andrew Coffee, and a 32-yard interception return by Marra.

The Warriors defense would continue their ball-hawking in the second half with Nick Wilson scoring on a 26-yards interception return on just the second pass by the Beavers in the half.  The Warriors added a 3-yard pass from Hillyer to Alek Wilson to make it 48-6 with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

The Beavers would fight back as they scored on a 22-yard run by Caleb White and a 5-yard pass from Logan Blissenbach to Micah Jones with just 3:22 remaining in the game.  The Warriors Ryan Irwin would add the final points on the night with a 38-yard pass and run from quarterback Dru DeShields with only 1:12 left in the game.

“I think a lot of us were very motivated from our last game,” Hillyer remarked.  “I’m glad we were able to get the job done and we got our younger guys out there.  They haven’t had a chance to play a game in while so for them getting out and getting a chance to play is good and I hope it helps them out.”

The Beavers were playing shorthanded as five of their starters were out due to positive covid testing.  That in addition to having some guys out with injuries handicapped the Beavers going into the contest.

“Our kids played hard, they stuck together and never gave up.  They had a great attitude.  I loved their effort,” Beavers coach Mike McKenzie remarked.  “In life, you are going to be short-handed sometimes, and you have to choose in those moments how you are going to proceed.  You’re going to face adversity, not just in athletics, so I think our kids were winners tonight in that they played hard and didn’t pout.  They didn’t turn on each and they stayed together when things went against them.”

The Warriors will travel to face Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy next Friday in their season closer.  The Beavers will host Garrettsville Garfield in their last game of the year next Friday.

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